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Dear Evan Hansen by Val Emmich, Steven Levenson, Benj Pasek, and Justin Paul

Dear Evan Hansen: The Novel - Steven Levenson, Justin Paul, Benj Pasek, Val Emmich

This review can also be found at Carole's Random Life in Books.

I didn't love this one like I had hoped I would. To be fair, I am not the target audience for this book. I have never seen the musical or heard any of its songs so I was pretty clueless going in. I can't tell you how this book compares to the musical but this story does stand on its own. Maybe a younger audience will enjoy this one more than I did but I spent a large part of the book wanted to pull these kids to the side and give them a mom talk. It was a pretty easy read and I am glad I gave it a try.

It all starts with a letter. Evan doesn't have really any friends and has a hard time getting through each day. As a part of therapy, he writes letters to himself to put things in a positive outlook. Connor picks up the letter and takes it from Evan. He dies with that letter in his pocket and suddenly everyone thinks that Connor and Evan were great friends and everything grows from there.

One of my biggest pet peeves is lying of any kind. Unfortunately, this book is packed with lies. Instead of letting Connor's parents know the truth behind the letter he lets them think that he was really friends with Connor. He then proceeds to expand on that lie and becomes a big part of Connor's family's life. He even starts dating Connor's sister who he has had a crush on for a very long time. Almost everything that Evan does in this book is a lie or is tied to a lie and I have to tell you that I had some issues with it. I just felt like Connor's family had enough to deal with without being manipulated by Evan.

There were some things that I did like in this book. I liked that the story is told from two different points of view. I expected Evan's point of view but the second one was a bit of a surprise. The point of view that I didn't expect was really my favorite part of the book. I thought that those sections of the book were very well done.

I listened to this book and I thought that the narrators did a good job with it. The female narrator listed did a couple of song segments worked into the story and the males handled the two points of view. I thought that they both did a great job representing their character. Their voices were very pleasant to listen to for long periods of time. I think that I liked the story a bit more because I decided to listen to the audiobook.

I think that a lot of readers are going to like this book a lot more than I did. The book does touch on a lot of important issues but I couldn't get past all of the deceptions.

I received a digital review copy of this book from Little, Brown Books for Young Readers via NetGalley and borrowed a copy of the audiobook from my local library via Overdrive.

Initial Thoughts
This was probably a 2.5 star read for me. To be fair, I am really not the target audience for this book but I thought I would take a chance on it. I have never really seen anything about the show or soundtrack but I hoped that the book would stand on its own. It fell a bit flat for me. This was always a book that I found easy to set aside and I really couldn't connect with any of the characters. Evan is lying to pretty much everyone for most of the book which kind of made me cringe. I listened to the audio and thought that they did a great job with their performance.